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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

The ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit, Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Abe and Mrs Abe, Prime Minister’s Remarks

Friday, December 13, 2013

 [Provisional translation]

Once again, I would like to extend my most sincere welcome to all the leaders of the ten countries of ASEAN.

What we are going to hold is a dinner celebrating our friendship that's lasted over 40 years. I would however ask you all to rise to your feet, if I may. I would like you to join me for a moment of silence, in which we pray for the repose of the souls of the victims, in the Philippines and in many other ASEAN nations, of typhoons, floods and other natural disasters.

[MC: Now please start the moment of silence]
[One minute of silence]
[MC: Thank you very much. Kindly take your seats again.

We share our difficulties and also our compassion with each other.  We warm each others’ hearts with tears of appreciation, and even in the wake of tragedies we walk forward hand in hand as we acknowledge lessons to be learned, to help coming generations.

The 40 years of friendship between ASEAN and Japan tell us that our relationship has always been of that sort.

Let us pledge to continue to cultivate a relationship into the future as well, in which our hearts touch each other in a deep way.

We are partners that share a vision and identity, and partners that share a future.  We jointly seek peace and stability, prosperity, better living in our daily lives, and partnerships bound by heart to heart ties.  Forty years from now, I am certain that our children and our grandchildren will nod deeply in acknowledging that ASEAN and Japan have most certainly enjoyed just that kind of relationship. Having visited all of your countries, I am able to state that with confidence.

Tonight, I would like you to enjoy the menu, which our chefs have put their heart and soul into preparing, using an abundance of Japanese ingredients yet incorporating the signature agricultural products of the ten ASEAN countries as an essence.

As we talk and occasionally share a laugh together, let us think of the path we have walked down, which has in fact been a long one.  Let us also dream of the great promises of the future.  Please raise your glasses. 

For our shared future that is all the more shining,

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